‘No more extortion from bets in Cebu’

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Friday, May 3, 2013

AT least seven alleged election-related incidents have been reported in Cebu Province so far, but there are no reported extortion activities.

In his report given during a joint command conference earlier this week, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Patrocinio Comendador said two retired police officers were wounded in strafing incidents in Bogo City.

The first incident happened in Barangay Taytayan, where SPO4 Constantino Cueva was hit in the leg by jalousie blades that were peppered with bullets last May 2, 2012.


The house of SPO4 Jose Nonet Medrano was also strafed by motorcycle-riding men in Barangay Gairan last Aug. 25.

“After they retired, they reportedly worked as security officers of some politicians,” Comendador said.

Last Oct. 2, 2012, the police also arrested four armed men who were allegedly hired by a politician to kill a village chief in Tabuelan town.

The group of Francisco Ariva was arrested in Barangay Legaspi, Alegria last Nov. 6.

The police believe they could be used by a politician to disrupt the election.

On Feb. 25, 2013, the house of businessman Camilo Becaldo in Barangay Binabag, Bogo City was also strafed.

In a mountain barangay in Dumanjug, five armed men were arrested by the police last April 4, which fueled speculations about the presence of goons in the area.

Last April 8, two people who were allegedly involved in gun-for-hire activities were arrested in Barangay Malbago, Daanbantayan.

Meanwhile, Comendador said they have not received reports of extortion activities, such as collection of money from candidates in exchange for a permit-to-campaign by the New People’s Army (NPA).

“When before we used to receive reports on extortion activities, this time there is none,” he said.

Comendador said rebels based in mid-northen areas of Cebu used to extort P20,000 to P1 million from candidates.

Candidates can be charged with violation of Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code for disloyalty if they pay for the NPA’s permit-to-campaign fees.

Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code provides that the penalty of six months and one day “shall be imposed upon public officers or employees who have failed to resist a rebellion by all means in their power, or shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices under the control of the rebels or shall accept appointment to office under them.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 03, 2013.

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